Almotriptan vs. ergotamine plus caffeine for acute migraine treatment. A cost-efficacy analysis

John Slof, J. M. Láinez, À Comas, J. Heras

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction. Almotriptan has proven to be more efficacious and tolerable than ergotamine plus caffeine but is more expensive, thus raising the question about its cost-efficacy. Methods. The course of migraine attacks during 24 hours treated with almotriptan and ergotamine plus caffeine was modelled with a decision tree, using efficacy data from a recent randomized, double-blind clinical trial comparing the two drugs. Costs were calculated from the social perspective (including indirect costs due to absenteeism and loss of productivity) and from the Spanish National Health System (NHS) perspective (only including drug costs). The impact on quality of life was estimated using utilities assigned in the literature to different health states of migraine patients. Results. Treatment response was 57.7% for patients treated with almotriptan vs. 44.5% with ergotamine plus caffeine. Sustained pain-free status was achieved by 20.3% vs. 11.5%. Working days lost due to absenteeism and reduced productivity amounted to 0.24 vs. 0.38 days. Quality of life during attacks was estimated at an average utility of 0.548 vs. 0.422. From the NHS perspective, incremental costs per attack treated with almotriptan vs. ergotamine plus caffeine was €5.05, rendering an incremental cost-efficacy ratio of €38.26 per additional response, €57.39 per additional complete response, and €14,709 per quality-adjusted life-year gained. From the social perspective almotriptan saved €7.50 vs. ergotamine plus caffeine Conclusions. Almotriptan can be considered cost-efficacious vs. ergotamine plus caffeine from the NHS perspective and is the dominant option (both more efficacious and more economical) from the social perspective.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-153
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009


    • Cost-efficacy
    • Ergotic
    • Migraine
    • Triptan


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